Not since 1645 has the Tibetan capital of Lhasa welcomed such a palatial retreat. In that year, the 5th Dalai Lama commenced construction of the 1,000-plus-room Potala Palace on Mar-po-ri, or Red Mountain. Now the nearly 12,000-foot-elevation city is home to perhaps the world’s highest high-end hotel: the St. Regis Lhasa Resort.
Opened in November, the St. Regis Lhasa encompasses 150 guest rooms and 12 villas that look out to the seasonally snow-tipped Himalayas in the area known as the Roof of the World. The resort can certainly claim the planet’s highest luxury spa, which includes an indoor swimming pool, yoga and meditation studios, and a menu of treatments incorporating Tibetan herbal medicine.
The St. Regis’ Decanter by Haut-Brisson, Tibet’s first wine bar, stocks more than 100 labels, while the Si Zi Kang restaurant offers a gastronomic take on Tibetan cuisine. More basic Tibetan fare, such as yak butter and boiled noodles, can be found nearby at the Tromzikhang market. Also worth a visit in Lhasa are the Jokhang Temple and the St. Regis’ sky-high neighbor, the Potala, which today operates as a museum. The St. Regis Lhasa Resort, +86.891.680.8888, www.stregis.com